Celebrating the Windrush Generation

02 Jul 2018

4 mins
Archive images of the Windrush Generation
Archive images of the Windrush Generation

To commemorate the first annual Windrush Day, which took place on 22 June 2018, we contacted the Black Cultural Archives in London to outline the history of the Windrush generation and suggest some relevant resources to help you explore this part of history.

The day marks 70 years since the MV Empire Windrush arrived in London with the first wave of Caribbean migrants coming to help rebuild Britain after World War II and find greater opportunities for themselves. Those who arrived from this point up until 1971 - when a new Immigration Act was introduced - would come to be known as the ‘Windrush generation'.

Below is some essential insight from the Black Cultural Archives' statement of solidarity with the Windrush generation, which also details the organisation's fascinating backstory.  

"The tens of thousands of people who travelled as British citizens between 1948 and 1973 were invited to this country to help rebuild post-war Britain. The elders of Britain's Caribbean heritage community were a pioneering generation who laid solid foundations that rebuilt post-war Britain. 

This is not an immigration story, not a moment of migrant history, but is central to British history. The history of Black people in Britain dates back centuries, yet this history has been long hidden. It is our duty to unearth and share these histories with everyone for a better and deeper appreciation of Britain. This will ensure injustices borne of ignorance and lack of empathy do not continue to occur and debate the value we give to this society. The "Windrush generation" came on their own and then brought their families here. The resilience and courage of the generations that followed them have shaped today's Black British community. The fact that citizenship questions are being raised decades later is highly problematic."

For any teacher hoping to educate their students about this vital aspect of British history, the Archive is incredibly useful. Their subject guide titled War to Windrush covers ground from World War I to the end of the Windrush period, and includes both a timeline of events and a detailed list of further links/sources. For any younger learners, the Archive also offers a 90-minute workshop aimed at Key Stages 1 & 2 (or equivalent) called Post War Journeys.

If you want to delve even deeper into the history of the Windrush generation, TES houses a vast range of resources for Key Stage 3 (or equivalent) and above, across many subjects.

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